The Episcopal Trustees of Corpus Christi College are pleased to announce the appointment of Maria O’Donnell to the Staff of Corpus Christi College, the Provincial Seminary for Victoria and Tasmania. Maria will take up a position as a Formator at the beginning of the 2021 academic year. This appointment has been discerned and welcomed by the Rector and Staff of the seminary.
'The role of Formator is one of personal accompaniment of seminarians on a one-to-one basis,' said Fr Denis Stanley EV, Rector of Corpus Christi College.
'The Formator assists our seminarians in integrating the four aspects of their formation: human, academic, spiritual and pastoral. The Formator needs to listen, encourage, and evaluate. Maria will bring to this role her wide experience of parish life, the dynamics of teaching and learning and her concern for the growth of students.'
Maria recently concluded an appointment as Dean and Deputy Principal of St Mary’s College, University of Melbourne, in which she shared the responsibility for the administration of the College and the pastoral care of the students.
Originally from Adelaide, Maria has qualifications and extensive teaching experience at both primary and secondary school levels within Australia and overseas. She has undertaken theological studies including a unit in Spiritual Direction and has worked as a Parish Pastoral Associate, within a team of priests and parishioners. Maria demonstrates a strong love and knowledge of the Church and a passion for sharing her faith.
The 2016 directions for seminary formation, Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis, or “The Gift of the Priestly Vocation”, says that the presence of the laity in the seminary is an important point of reference in the formative journey of the seminarians. That presence is already experienced by seminarians through their studies at Catholic Theological College and pastoral appointments in parishes, prisons, schools, nursing homes and hospitals.
Maria's appointment to the formation staff of Corpus Christi College adds to this lay contribution and seeks to enrich the formative journey of seminarians.